We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Monday, February 9, 2015


From A. S. Haley:

Lay people, and even many clergy, are ignorant of the Canons ...

People who sit in the pew, however, are familiar with the Book of Common Prayer, and use it at least every Sunday. The proposed change in Canon I.18 would remove the last remaining link between the BCP that every Episcopalian knows and uses and the governing documents of the Church ...

The rubrics of the BCP are thus superior to Canons of the General Convention, because the latter can be amended by the vote of just a single Convention, while the former require the vote of two, plus consideration by each and every Diocese in between.

And the rubrics of the BCP currently define "marriage" as between "a man and a woman." Not only that, but the entire ceremony of Holy Matrimony in the BCP is filled with references to "the man" doing and saying this, and "the woman" doing and saying that ...

With this proposed change to the Canon on Marriage, therefore, there will no longer be any canonical link to "marriage" as regulated by the Canon and "Holy Matrimony" as regulated by the BCP. The Canon, if revised as proposed, will simply govern those cases where people already considered civilly married by the State may have their union blessed by a priest, as well as those who, for whatever reason, want to be married civilly by a priest in ECUSA. (As both the current and proposed version make clear in their last sections, any priest may in his discretion refuse to perform any blessing or solemnization of marriage.)

The Canon will no longer make any reference to the BCP, because the words "Holy Matrimony" will have been deleted from it. And the ceremonies provided in the BCP, of course, make no reference to the Canons -- they don't have to, because the BCP ranks higher than the Canons.

But the undermining of traditional marriage will, if this proposed change passes, be just about complete.

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